While being benevolent for group tourism, Emmanuel Grégoire (PS), first assistant to Anne Hidalgo, however calls for a change of habits in their modes of travel. It is up to the guides to adapt.
The City is asking itself the question of the risk of overtourism in the face of the nuisances that Parisians endure. Is this risk real?
EMMANUEL GRÉGOIRE. We do not reach levels like in Venice or Barcelona. But we feel a concern of Parisians so that the reception of tourists – which is very benevolent – does not cause too much nuisance. In addition to hypertourist sites where this does not pose a problem, we see developing in certain arrondissements of eastern Paris, in the 11th century, around Bastille, République and Oberkampf, tourist gatherings which combine with places of celebration. The other very big concern is the inflationary pressure on housing, particularly because of Airbnb.
The guides complain about the poor reception of group tourists. Does this finding seem admissible to you?
I strongly disagree. That the situation is never satisfactory is obvious. But it has improved a lot in recent years. Access to toilets, for example, is not an absolute right of mass tourism. We are doing what we can by considerably developing free public toilets.
Security issues are also singled out …
This is another topic common to major tourist spots. Pickpockets are taking advantage of the situation. But crime in Paris is rather low compared to other major cities in the world. Metro line 1 is particularly targeted. The police headquarters are working on it.
The fact remains that coaches are not as welcome as they were before?
We no longer want tourist buses as we observe in a totally anarchic way in Paris. We are waiting for the regulatory means to be available. We are setting up service car parks so that coaches stop entering Paris. Coaches are no longer welcome in the city center.
It’s a radical position …
Tourists can do like everyone else with gentle means of transport or use public transport. We must support a change.
When you say haro about coaches, it makes the guides’ work difficult …
They just have to change their job. There is the development of cyclo tours or walks with headphones. Everyone must adapt their profession to the needs of the city.
One has the impression that you favor individual tourism at the expense of groups?
Individual tourism is ultra-dominant in all stays in Paris (Editor’s note: 90%). But that doesn’t mean we’re against groups (Editor’s note: 8% of stays). It is essential for the elderly or for certain countries. But they have to adapt their route to the constraints of the city.